Bronze objects in the Ancient Roman world were often made using the hollow cast technique, as in this example. The method allowed for the creation of bronze objects with a hollow back or centre, thereby reducing the amount of bronze used. Cherubs are generally represented as an aesthetically chubby boy with wings, who carries a bow and a quiver of arrows. He is normally shown as an assistant or acolyte of the goddess Aphordite (goddess of beauty and love). Cherubs were capable of making individuals (divine or mortal) fall in love by way of their enchanted arrows. One popular example is the story of the parents of Adonis. There was a king called Cinyras who had a beautiful daughter, Myrrah. The king would boast that her beauty surpassed that of even Aphrodite. As punishment the goddess used Eros to make Myrrah fall for her father, and decieved the king into committing incest via disguising his daughter. Myrrah discovered she was pregnant and prayed that the gods would save her, and they turned her into a Myrrh tree. Nine months later the tree split and a baby (Adonis) was born. This lead to another popular myth in which Aphrodite was shocked at the beauty of the baby and asked Persephone (Queen of the Underworld) to hide him and keep him safe. As the boy grew older, Persephone fell in love with him too, thus leading to the two goddesses arguing over the young man. Zeus rulled that Adonis should spend 4 months of the year with Aphodite, 4 with Persephone, and the remaining 4 he could spend where he liked. Adonis so loved Aphrodite that he gave his ‘free’ 4 months to her aswell. Unfortunately their love was not to be as Adonis was attacked by a boar while hunting and died in Aphrodite’s arms. In some versions of the myth, the boar was actually Mars (Aphrodite’s husband) in disguise. This tale reflects the power of Eros, love, and beauty in the ancient world.
Fine Roman Bronze Appliqué
A finely patinated Ancient Roman cast bronze appliqué of a youth’s head in profile. The figure displays finely coiffured hair and attributes similar to those of cherubs. The reverse appears hollowwith a rivet for attachments.
Condition: Fine condition.